Update from Elaine 2/11/09

The Sunland Tujunga Neighborhood Council Land Use Committe has been holding meetings with Angeles National Golf Club, Council District 2 and interested community members.  The first meeting was held on January 26, but the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, California Fish & Game, and the National Park Service were unable to attend so a second meeting was held on February 3.  The Foothill Trails District Neighborhood Council Watershed Committee joined the STNC/LUC in holding this second meeting and representatives from CD 2 and all the agencies attended along with community members from both Neighborhood Councils, equestrian and home owners groups.
A hearing is scheduled for Friday, February 13, 2009 at 1 p.m. at the Marvin Braude Bldg. in Van Nuys to determine if the ANGC has met the 72 Conditional Use Permit conditions and the 256 mitigations required by the Environmental Impact Report which were approved on April 28, 1998.  These meetings were held to discuss the two-foot stack of documents which was submitted to the two NCs in November, 2008.  Several documents were missing regarding pesticide applications and water monitoring amongst others.  The Tujunga Ponds are not healthy and this makes the pesticide applications and water monitoring reports of primary concern.
In 1998, the community fought very hard to make sure that the Sensitive Ecological/Environmental Area that exists in the Big Tujunga Wash where the golf course is located was not destroyed.  After looking over the documents, many questions arose.  In particular were questions about the severe decline of the habitat of the federally endangered Slender Horned Spine Flower.  ANGC agreed in those original conditions to protect this habitat, to keep the property clean, to deter trespassing, and to prevent dumping.  This has not been done.  Two years ago, the ANGC built a restroom which was not part of the approved conditions and installed a long sewer line which may have violated the Spine Flower habitat.
ANGC also agreed in the conditions to construct two equestrian trails and one biking/hiking path across the property from Foothill to Oro Vista.  The trails not only have not been constructed, but the golf course does not intend to allow the south trail which was to run along the bottom of the bluff on the south and to provide a Wildlife Corridor.  Without access and cover the wildlife can not travel across the property.  In 2008, there were two puma sightings during daylight hours east of the property.  ANGC has built a driving range which was not approved in the original conditions in that area which extends right up to the bluff and cuts off the access.  Nor does ANGC want to build the northern equestrian trail, but rather to call the Conover fire road located on the bluff the northern trail.  Neither of these solutions are acceptable to the community.  The National Park Service says that Conover Road can not be considered a trail.
There are also concerns about the conditions which required that 240 acres were to be dedicated to the SMMC prior to ANGC pulling their grading permits.  This required the dedication of the land or the establishment of a conservation easement or a habitat preserve.  These conditions have not been met.
Finally, there were a number of questions as to why the clubhouse which was approved for 8,100 sq. ft. was allowed to be built to 25,000 sq. ft.
The draft letter with conclusions and recommendations will be brought before the STNC board for approval at the monthly meeting at Mt. Gleason Middle School, Wednesday, February 11. To write a comment letter or to obtain more information, come to the STNC meeting or go to their website at STNC.org
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